Scholarships honor police, fire, EMTs

Executive Editor

The 200 Club of Middlesex County awarded $105,500 in scholarships to 85 children of police, fire and EMS personnel.

“The recent warehouse fire in North Brunswick makes us realize what the parents in this room do every day. Thank you,” said 200 Club President Michael McLaughlin as he prepared to announce names of the scholarship recipients.

The 200 Club is made up of the leaders of business, industry, labor, public service and other professions whose goal is to provide financial assistance and comfort to families of law enforcement and public safety officials who are killed or disabled in the line of duty. In addition, the 200 Club awards thousands of dollars each year in scholarships to the dependent children of these families. The 200 Club’s motto — “We Remember” — is a pledge to support the men and women who put their lives on the line, according to the organization.

The scholarship ceremony, scheduled annually at Middlesex County College in Edison, was held Aug. 6.

“You put your lives on the line every day. Doing that in these times is not getting easier. Values are passed down from parents to children, and first responders have exceptional values of doing the right thing and helping others,” said Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey. A new scholarship was created by the 200 Club this year to honor the memory of NJ State Trooper Anthony Raspa of Highland Park, who died May 30 in an auto accident while on duty in Monmouth County.

Middlesex County 200 Club Executive Director Ron Franz said the organization plans to give $5,000 to the family of Hinal Patel, a Spotswood EMT who was killed in the line of duty in July in an ambulance crash in East Brunswick.

Patel, a Piscataway resident and a graduate of Piscataway High School, graduated from Rutgers University in May with a Bachelor’s degree in cell biology and neuroscience. She planned to become a physician. A special $2,000 scholarship is awarded each year by Michael and Ann Arnold, the parents of Scott G. Arnold, to a student who is pursuing a career as first aid member or a firefighter.

Their son, who was 27 years old and lived in Manalapan at the time, died in a car accident in 2010 in Texas.

The club handed out seven academic scholarships of $1,500 each — 30 $1,000 scholarships to incumbent students, and 15 $1,000 scholarships to new college students.

The 200 Club of Middlesex County has awarded a total of $2.6 million in scholarships since the program began, according to Franz.